Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/381781
28 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings waterways are more than 50 years old. Today, the Water Resources Development Act authorizes civil works projects under the purview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, funded via the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The latest version of this legislation, the Water Resources Development Act, was signed into law by President Obama on June 26, 2014. The new legislation addresses challenges by streamlining the project delivery process, promoting fscal responsibility, and strengthening our water transportation networks. 4 Safeguarding the MTS Safeguarding maritime commerce is more than just ensur- ing physical security. Security comes in the form of a resil- ient system that can weather storms or other events. In the years ahead, freight volumes are slated to increase. This means more freight will fow in and out of U.S. ports and on our waterways, highway systems, and rail systems. Federal agencies, local/municipal and state governments, industry, shippers, and operators all have an active role in safeguard- ing maritime commerce. The main federal agencies involved in safeguarding the MTS include: • U.S. Coast Guard: There is an increased need for Coast Guard services, encompassed over six programs: mari- time security operations, maritime law enforcement, maritime prevention, maritime response, defense oper- ations, and marine transportation system management. • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: The Corps of Engineers has been charged with maintaining and improving nav- igable waterways. Its nine business areas and its civil works mission ensure a quality marine transportation system. It will be challenged in completing existing con- struction projects, along with operating and maintain- ing existing water resources infrastructure. • The Environmental Protection Agency: EPA regula- tions mitigate environmental impact and establish the correct dredge spoils placement, evaluate greenhouse emissions, assess climate change, and address ballast water requirements. • U.S. Maritime Administration: The Maritime Admin- istration is the key advocacy agency for the U.S. mer- chant marine and supports the MTS, including the U.S.-fagged feet and America's marine highways, and administers several programs that support the mer- chant marine. • U.S. Customs and Border Protection: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection enhances our nation's global competitiveness and facilitates safe and legitimate inter- national trade. Additionally, increased interagency cooperation among federal agencies through federal advisory committees, the Committee on Marine Transportation Systems, and other joint efforts must continue, as the maritime realm evolves. Benefts Put simply, every American citizen benefts from a safe and resilient MTS. Farmers and coal miners beneft from export activity, the American consumer benefits from efficient container terminals and effcient intermodal connections at ports that can quickly move goods to market. Terminal operators, longshoremen, and tugboat operators benefit from vessel port calls. Rig workers, roustabouts, offshore supply vessel personnel, and dynamic positioning opera- tors beneft from the Gulf of Mexico energy trade. Merchant mariners beneft from having safe vessels on which to work that provide an opportunity to practice their craft. As an industry, we must continue to champion this largely hidden gem that employs hundreds of thousands of Ameri- cans, while ensuring our foothold in the global domain. About the author: LT Jonathan Hsieh is a Coast Guard Reserve offcer, currently employed by the U.S. Maritime Administration Offce of Policy and Plans. His previous assignments include tours on USCGC Bertholf and as program manager for the Sea Partners Campaign. He holds a B.A. in marine transportation from the California Maritime Academy, an MPA from Virginia Tech, and a U.S. Merchant Marine second mate license. Endnotes: 1. Committee on the Marine Transportation System, National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System, July 2008. 2. U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Modal Shares of U.S. Merchandise Trade Handled by Land, Water, and Air Gateways by Value and Weight: 2007. 3. Maritime Administration. 2011 U.S. Water Transportation Statistical Snapshot, November 2013. 4. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Water Resources Reform & Development Act, 2013.